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Diverse lineups for 2014-15 pilot season

by niagarau
Thu, Mar 20th 2014 09:00 am
Kerry Washington stars in `Scandal` on ABC. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. (ABC photo by Eric McCandless)
Kerry Washington stars in "Scandal" on ABC. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. (ABC photo by Eric McCandless)

By: Anastaisha Hayes

With the 2013-14 television season coming to an end soon, developments for next fall's pilot season have already begun. One trend to watch is that more pilots led by black actors are in the works this season.

When television first became popular and up until recent years, it was rare to see a minority face as a lead actor for prime time show. With ABC's "Scandal" breaking barriers by having the first black actress nominated for an Emmy since 1995, we are starting to see a shift in what our weekly television shows look like.FOX Entertainment Chairman Kevin Reilly said in January, "I see the shift in the way people are conceiving the roles and casting them."

The faces of the 2014-15 pilots are beginning to represent the post-racial world we live in today. Some examples of these are shown below:

  •  ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal"  executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers have developed another ABC drama series titled "How to Get Away with Murder," which will star "The Help's" Viola Davis. Romany Malco and Anthony Anderson will both star in the network's two comedy pilots. Malco in comedian Kevin Hart's semi-autobiographical pilot "Keep It Together," and Anderson in comedy writer Kenya Barris's semi-autobiographical pilot "Black-ish."
  • "The Office's" Craig Robinson is set to star in a comedy pilot "Mr Robinson." "Deception" star Meagan Good will also star in NBC sci-fi drama "Babylon Fields."
  • At FOX, Lee Daniel's drama "Empire" will star "Hustle & Flow" duo Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson. Jada Pinkett Smith will star as an antagonist in FOX's Batman origin story, "Gotham." "The Help's" Octavia Spencer will star in the network's hospital drama "Red Band Society."
  • With the success of last year's summer premiere "Under the Dome," CBS has decided to comeback with another drama titled "Extant," about an astronaut learning to adjust to life at home after spending 13 months in space, Halle Berry will star.

Along with lead roles being filled by black actors, more supporting roles will be open to a diverse group of actors.  Keep in mind that casting season is only halfway done. With each broadcast network having to worry about competition with each other, as well as with cable and Netflix, viewers will no longer have complaints about having nothing to watch in the fall of 2014.

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